By Traveling Lightly Blog

Our afternoon flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina, from Salvador, Brazil, was uneventful except for the six-hour layover in Rio.  Maggie tried to talk me into taking a taxi through town so we could say we did Rio.  The view from the airplane window of the undulating coastline and the coastal Serra do Mar mountains including Pão de Açúcar, Sugarloaf, and Corcovado, the Hunchback, appeased me until a more extended visit someday soon.

We landed in Buenos Aires at 1:30 a.m., too late to take the overnight bus to Mendoza.  I had not planned that well, but when I purchased our plane tickets from Brazil to Argentina it was either the afternoon flight or the 6:30 a.m. flight, and I don’t do 6:30 a.m. flights unless I have no choice.  So we spent the night at EZE airport aiming to take a shuttle to the bus terminal and catch the 7 a.m. 16-hour coach to Mendoza.  I perused air flights, but the cost although not prohibitive didn’t make sense.  I needed to learn to travel light on my wallet.

So we lounged in the plastic seats with our feet propped on our backpacks while we watched “Friends” on Netflix until the free wifi kicked us off around 3:30 a.m.  We lost Maggie’s cellphone when we left it unattended in the... (Read More)

By Planet Mountain

Swiss alpinist Michael Lerjen-Demjen introduces the climbing at Los Arenales close to Mendoza in Argentina. Perfect granite and an unlimited potential at an altitude of 3000m.

I don’t really know how many times I’ve been to Argentina, I can’t remember exactly, but what I know is that while I’ve experienced my highs and lows, this immense country has never lost its charm. Argentina offers much more than just merely mountains: it’s a land that overflows with passion, beauty, serenity and tranquility.

Most climbers are attracted to El Chalten, to Cerro Torre, Fitz Roy and their surrounding peaks, just like I was in the past. But this time I wanted to try something else, enjoy different stimuli, feel the thrill of something new I’d forgotten about. During a family dinner - Asado of course - we got the idea that I should head north to explore the rocks and mountains around Mendoza. My initial reply was that I wasn't interested in climbing Aconcagua, but when Manu showed me the incredible photos of Los Arenales, I knew it was exactly what I was looking for.

The trip alone is worth the drive to Los Arenales: you wind your way through vineyards in Mendoza as you enjoy sweeping views across the snowy peaks of the Andes. And when you get to Los Arenales you remain stunned, there’s... (Read More)

By Great Wine Capitals

Mendoza, Mendoza, Mendoza.  Well what can I say ?   Would I go back to Mendoza where I recently visited as a guest of the Great Wine Capitals (GWC) ?  Would I  recommend it to friends and other travelers ?   The answer is a resounding yes. Mendoza is wonderful especially if you love places with an easy pace,  good food,  friendly locals and great wine.

It’s a couple of weeks since I returned and I’m still excited about the visit.  I vividly recall the stunning snow-capped Andes. They’re hard to forget.  I’ve flown over the Pyrenees often and I’ve seen the Himalayas from the air but the Andes are special.  Little did I know, until I arrived, just how special those snow-capped peaks are to Mendoza.

I found the city of Mendoza to be safe, easy to navigate and pleasant to walk around.  

It’s a low rise city with few tall buildings and is laid out using the modern grid system.  As for historical sights, with the exception of the ruins of the San Francisco basilica, sadly none remain due to the devastating earthquake of 1861 which leveled the old city.  However the `new´ Mendoza has much going for it.  Without the pressure of having to visit a long list of historical sights you can instead just... (Read More)

By Blue Sky Limit Blog

During my week in Mendoza, I’d come to the tough conclusion that this city of wine set among the high Andes would be my last stop in Argentina.  I’d originally hoped to revisit my former home, Buenos Aires, and spend time with my porteño friends, but after hearing horror stories about how dangerous the capital had become, I decided to save both time and money and head back to Chile to get to know Santiago.

I woke up early to leave for the bus terminal, where I’d bought a ticket for a 10AM departure.  I figured this would allow me to cross the border before it got too busy and arrive in Santiago before dusk.  As I was checking out of the hostel, the receptionist at Hostel Empedrado asked me if I had exchanged contact info with my Canadian friends, who had left earlier that morning.  I hadn’t, but, curious, I asked why.

As it turned out, they had accidentally... (Read More)

By The Everyday Aventurer

Upon exit from the small Mendoza airport, we were greeted with the kind of dry heat that reminded me of Texas summers, instantly bringing a smile to my face that this was probably the kind of place I liked to be. During our initial wandering around the city we figured out that our hotel was just a few blocks from Plaza Independencia, which seemed to be the heart beat of the city, providing a pulse of energy for families wanting to soak in warm summer evenings together. After dinner one night we ended up watching a concert in the plaza and joined in on the dancing that locals were leading right by the front of the stage.

One of the things that our group was consistently impressed with was how much quality... (Read More)

By Pick Up The Fork

Oh, how I love Mendoza. It’s one of the only places on earth where it’s socially acceptable to drink wine before 10am. It’s also ideal for non-alcoholic reasons: the scenery is absolutely insane – think Andes mountains, an ideal climate, sunny weather, blue skies, friendly Mendocinos, rivers, vineyards, lots of green landscapes, sunrises, sunsets, stars, and, well… wine, wine, wine, and more wine. So, it was a no brainer when I had the chance to check out Casa de Uco, a new wine resort, hotel, spa, and restaurant that just opened up in Vista Flores, Valle de Uco. A few days in a Mendozan paradise luxury hotel filled with great food and wine? I guess I’ll take one for the team.

Walking into Casa de Uco and I immediately knew it would be a hard place to leave. Greeted by the ultra friendly staff, the floor to ceiling glass windows overlooked amazing views of a pool, pond, organic garden, 790 acres of vineyards — and I hadn’t even explored beyond the living room entrance yet... (Read More)